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Fender precision pre CBS neck radius?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by solitario, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. solitario


    Oct 13, 2011
    Hi I would like to know the neck radius on a pre CBS precision c shape neck.

    Btw pre CBS precisions were mare sold alder or ash? One piece body or 2 or 3 pieces?

    Thank you
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Fender never did one piece bodies. There might be the odd CS one off's but I think the census is they never used 1 piece bodies in manufacturing. I believe it was ash but I am not certain.

    I don't know if they still use the same radius so somebody will probably correct me, but I always know a P-bass as a 9.5" radius. I wasn't around back in the day though.
  3. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    Fender 50s reissues have a 7.25" fingerboard radius....
    I would think that would be close.
  4. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    The measure of the curvature of the top of the fretboard from edge to edge is often incorrectly referred to as the "neck radius". Actually, the correct terminology would be either "fretboard" or "fingerboard radius" and the actual neck shape and size should be called "neck profile". (direct cut and paste from the Fender website)

    Solitario: what are you asking about - the fretboard radius or the neck profile?

    DiabolusInMusic: many Fender Precisions (including new Am Std P's) have a 9.5" fretboard radius, American Vintage '62 Precisions have a 7.25" fretboard radius, different years and models vary
  5. solitario


    Oct 13, 2011
    I think neck profile was c if I'm not wrong but I would like to know both, profile and radius. Thank you
  6. solitario


    Oct 13, 2011
  7. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    The radius should be 7.25"
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    The first P basses had bodies made of ash, which is still used on some models. In 1956, Fender felt that the new sunburst finish worked better over alder, although reportedly Leo preferred ash. When natural finishes were offered ash was used with the less pretty wood finished in colors or sunburst.

    Very few one piece bodies were made: it was much more economical to buy narrower pieces of lumber and splice them together, and Leo was famously tight with a dollar.

    The only reference I found concerning the fingerboard radius is that the 9.5" radius was used on the Precision Plus in '88-'89. Whether that means all before were 7.25" or not is not addressed.
  9. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    My '64 neck has a 7.25 radius. It's thinner front to back and is a C (1.750) width.
  10. Radius was indeed 7.25".

    In terms of bodywood:

    In the fifties ash was used, in '56 they used alder for the sunburst bodies, whilst ash remained for the blonde variants. Around 1959/1960 all the bodies were made from alder (sunburst, white, black,...), except for the by than very rare blonde finish, which remained ash.

    And to add to the confusion, in 1963 there was mahogany used as well.
  11. solitario


    Oct 13, 2011
    mahogany????!?!?!?!?! :eek:
  12. oldleftybass


    Jan 24, 2013
    What about those "baseball bat" necks? Ever on Precisions?
  13. Tonegasm


    Mar 22, 2010
    I feel like those were mostly on the '54-'56 range. The 57's I've played were thinner and with V shapes.
  14. MetsMan75

    MetsMan75 Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2010
    The Baseball bat/U profile necks were used on Fender P Basses from 1951 until around 1955/'56. It was basically a thick chunky U-shaped neck with highh shoulders. Around '55/'56 it changed to a thinner in nut width (but still chunky front to back) soft V having Less shoulder. In 1957 the V became more pronounced and nut width was still thinner (approx 1.70 at nut) and even less shoulder. There still were some softer V examples as well as a Hard V. The V profile continued into 1958 so the early '58s still had V profiles before eventually going back to a Less chunky (non-baseball bat U neck and then by 1959 it evolved into a wide flatter Vintage C profile. All had 7.25 fingerboard radius. With that being said there were variances back then....more so than now because these necks were hand-made not CNC like today so back then there were more differences in necks.
  15. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    This is all true.
    I've only seen one fender mahogany bass body.
    And it was a 1963-P-Bass.
    As for one piece bodies. Fender did make them when they got body wood wide enough for it. Which was rare.
  16. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    My 64 P bass had a wide, and very flat neck. The local high school had a 63 that was as wide, but really chunky and quite uncomfortable after being used to my 64.
  17. veebass


    Mar 27, 2014
    I recently acquired a 56 P which I believe is all original. The neck date is 5/56 and the body date is 4/56. I was interested in what the fretboard radius is and after a quick search I found this thread. Very informative.
    The width at the nut of my 56 is a little narrower (1 mm or so) than other C necks I have. It has a soft V neck profile and I suspected the fretboard radius was 7.25 as it kept reminding me of my 73 P Basses neck (a B width) even though it is wider. The 56 neck is lovely to play.
    I see above that there is mention of alder being used as body wood from 56.
    Would you agree that the body on mine (see below) looks like ash? I posted more pics on the Pre CBS Club thread.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  18. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    As for body wood. In early 1963 Fender did a very small run of Red Mahogany bodies.
    I've seen a P-Bass, a Stratocaster, and a Jazz-Bass with factory mahogany bodies. ( All 1963 )
    They all sounded great, defined and bell-like. Back then the quality of wood was much better ?
    I was told that Fender was curious about mahogany as a tone wood. Leo must have liked Ash, and Alder better. Mahogany also cost more.
  19. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    That sure looks like ash to me as well as being one of the fabled 1-piece bodies!
  20. veebass


    Mar 27, 2014
    Yes I think it is ash. I can'f find a seam, but assumed it must be there somewhere?

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